I love baking, it’s one of my favorite things to do, right along with dancing and running. When I run, I think of some of the most fun things to create for my blog and usually it involves baking. Baking cake is something I adore because to me, it feels therapeutic – maybe it’s the measuring of ingredients, or the sound of the mixer working its magic, it’s probably all of those things combined plus the smell of what’s in the oven.
I think it’s important to use ingredients that you have on hand, so they don’t go to waste and lemons are currently very abundant in my yard. Lemon is an ingredient my family truly enjoys, and baking a cake with a little lemon will be greatly appreciated around my house. Poppy seeds and lemon are a classic combination, but this time I wanted to throw something fruitier into the mix, and I chose blackberries because they’re in season. The creamy yellow cake flecked in black poppy seeds with a lower dark purple hue looks quite impressive after being baked. The combination of citrus with sweet berries are pretty delightful too, but I felt this cake needed a topping and a quick meringue came to mind.
Swiss meringue is sweet and billowy, and when piled high on top of this cake, it looks like a cloud on a mountaintop. It’s my interpretation of lemon meringue pie, but in cake form. You can slice and serve this dessert after dinner, or for a snack in the late afternoon. This recipe makes two loaf cakes, so you can give one away and really make someone’s day special. That’s what I like to do.
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1 lemon
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen defrosted and drained
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Makes 2 Loaf Cakes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans, set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix on high for 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and mix again for 1 minute.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add milk and sour cream and mix on low for 1 minute. Fold in poppy seeds and blackberries by hand.
- Remove bowl from stand and spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until deep golden brown on top and toothpick comes clean. Remove and let cool in pans for 40 minutes.
- In a bain marie, or a heat proof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water, add egg whites, sugar, cream of tarter and salt. Stir until egg mixture is hot to touch, about 170 degrees.
- Pour hot egg mixture into a stand mixer or large bowl and whisk on high for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to whisk for 3 minutes, or until meringue is light and fluffy.
- Pile meringue on top of cooled cakes and smooth out on top with fluffy peaks. Toast cakes under broiler or with a blow torch, if desired. Slice and serve or store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!